JOANNE HEGARTY, THE CHIC LIST: How to wear colour this spring – without looking like a clown who’s escaped from the circus

As I get older, I definitely favour a clean colour palette – and, no, this doesn’t mean I’m obsessive about laundry but that understated shades are my go-to, complementing my pared-back, fuss-free wardrobe.

Hence the recent Copenhagen Fashion Week giving me the shivers, with its reams of ‘skousers’ (frilly dresses layered over trousers) and array of neon mismatched pieces. This is the exact look – a 40-something clown who has just escaped from the circus – I want to avoid.

Saying that, a clean-lines girl doesn’t mean a boring one. Quite the contrary. So, with the beginning of a new season (always an exciting opportunity to breathe fresh air into our wardrobes), how does someone who has an aversion to bright hues do colour? Like this…

1 Power up a suit with pastels I love the effortless elegance that a good trouser suit gives both for a working day or night out. 

Trouser suit, Reiss, earrings, Zara and bag, Celine

Trouser suit, Reiss, earrings, Zara and bag, Celine

However, come spring, I step away from dark, wintry shades, preferring to switch up the look with cream, light blue, beige, lemon and mint green. 

2 Likewise with co-ords and sets Open Instagram or walk down the street and it looks like we’re living in a world of sets – from workout ones in spandex, lounge offerings in soft knits and sparkly party double acts to matchy-matchy summer linens.

Wearing a set makes me feel lighter, freer and cleaner. And they look terrific on all body shapes and in subtle colourways.

3 Dial up neutrals with a bold hue For example, a bright top with cream trousers or peeping out from a neutral blazer. 

Red is staying put for spring/summer and will be a big hitter for dresses. Adding colour through accessories such as bags or shoes can make a neutral outfit instantly sing.

4 Don’t forget the details This season’s love-in with fringeing, rose motifs and metallics is the perfect opportunity for a flirt with colour.

5 Think like Coco Chanel She once noted that white, like black, has it all: its ‘beauty is absolute’. One of the strongest style statements this season is the white dress for casual and formal wear. 

Recent awards dos have been awash with far-from-boring offerings and the white frock is the perfect go-to for women who like quiet luxury but want more from their palette of oatmeal and taupe.

Guilty pleasure

The perfect alternative to a spring trench. Warm enough for this time of year but cool enough to give you bonus style credit.






Pebble dash

British brand Otiumberg favours timeless designs.

This pebble necklace is perfect on its own or layered with shorter pieces. Run by sisters Rosanna and Christie, its designs have been worn by a roster of A-listers including Paul Mescal, Margot Robbie, Emma Watson and Olivia Palermo.  



Ruche hour

This Cos piece is fast becoming one of spring’s It-bags. I’ve spotted it many times already but, like Marmite, you either love it or hate it.








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